I met Alice in Fred Lipp’s Advanced Painting class where she would often be working on abstracted versions of Maine landscapes. She’s living in one of those landscapes now and when we visited our conversation often turned to art and Fred’s class. She told us that one of the things she misses is overhearing Fred’s advice to another painter, someone working in a different medium and manner on a different subject, advice that was applicable to her at that moment.
I had this experience last night as Fred was talking to my father. He was comparing the beautiful little watercolors in his sketchbook to the sheet my father was working on, one that got away from him. The sketches, which Fred was calling finished paintings, captured fleeting moments with expression and confidence. The big sheet had been carefully planned and worked up with the sketch as a reference and my father said he felt as though he was just coloring it in. This is one of Fred’s favorite topics and was my father setting him up for another “painting should be an adventure, not the execution of a plan” raps. It’s a topic that bears repeated revisiting. This time I heard Fred say that you want to see the questioning in the final piece. I love that concept and intend utilize it in my own work.
We sent this song (one recorded live at the Little Theatre) over to Saxon Recording on East Main where Dave Anderson applied his digital/analog mastering tools to the file. The cover graphic is a photo of a Robert Irwin piece in the Albright Knox collection. Stop out tonight and hear the questioning.
The First Friday Gallery hop gets bigger every month, so big I heard talk last night of venues switching to the second Friday of the month. Places that don’t have any real gallery space at all are jumping on the bandwagon. How would you like to have your art featured on a bright yellow wall on the down ramp at the Record Archive? Only Frank DeBlase could pull that one off. We checked out a few of these not-really-an-art-space shows last night. Geri McCormick had some beautiful letterpress prints in a show at Joe Bean on University. We had never been to this coffee bar, a real bar format but without the alcohol. They roast their own Fair Trade beans and prepare each cup to order, your choice of coffee and brew method. We bought a bag of beans to take home. It took me about a half hour to get the bag open but the coffee was delicious.
Next stop was Jembetat on Park Avenue where Heather Erwin was holding court with her Barbara Kruger meets Russian constructivist prints. I had my iPod Touch with me but was afraid to whip it out because of the rather hostile “Please . . . No Laptop or WiFi use. Please refrain from cell phone use.” signs. Meanwhile the owner was plopped on the couch cruising fb on his smart phone. I wanted to check the First Friday site to see what else was happening. Turns out we missed Pete Monacelli’s “Thoughtful Influences” show at the Philips gallery. We saw Pete at our last stop, the annual Rochester Contemporary Members Show. We talked art for a bit but mostly drums and the art of playing minimally.
I was so happy to see that Alice de Mauriac’s painting, “Interval Before The Brink” (detail shown above, click photo for full painting), won the Record Archive Award at RoCo. It was the strongest, most beautiful piece in the room. If only the MAG would feature her work in one of their biennials of regional artists. She has many more where this came from.
If you are a painter there is no downtime. This is the way it is. My painting class is in recess for the holidays but we will soon be back in the basement of the Memorial Art Gallery on Tuesday nights. And in the meantime, we paint or think about painting. Thinking about it heightens the moment when you are are standing in front of a blank canvas. “This time it will be different”, for why would you want to repeat yourself? This isn’t rock and roll.
I just posted some photos of paintings by people in my painting class. LorraineBohonos and Alice de Mauriac are two of my favorite painters and it is a joy to watch them paint. I think you will like their paintings.